Another Step in Speech

It is so beyond crazy to me, and a little bittersweet to be honest, that Harrison is about to close a big chapter in his Speech Therapy journey. He has been in Speech since he was newly two years old. At first, a wonderful Speech Therapist would come to our home frequently to meet with him and help teach him (and me) how to even begin speaking. When we started, Harrison ‘spoke’ through a mostly closed mouth and communicated with grunts. When he did speak, it was a jumble of vowels and very, very, very few people could ever even get close to figure out what he was trying to say. Our in-home therapist taught us so much and got him started on the right foot. He made great progress fairly quickly. There were set backs, there were frustrating days, but there were also glorious triumphs and really exciting milestones met. Its been a fascinating, exhilarating journey. More than anything, its shown me how resilient, dedicated and smart my Harrison is. He’s been setting goals and crushing them for years now, and its so inspiring to me. I’m so proud of him.

Harrison right about when this whole journey began! So tiny!
Buddy with some of his sensory activities that his in-home SLP had us get to help promote speech and sound!

His early intervention place (that provided us our in-home speech therapist) only takes little ones until they turn three. So a quick year later, we got Harrison transferred over to our local school districts speech therapy program. It started with an evaluation that was maybe one of the lowest, most frustrating times of this whole journey for me. The evaluation was long. Harrison didn’t want to cooperate at all, he didn’t connect with the woman giving the screening at all.. it was a train wreck. I sobbed the whole way home and throughout much of the day. It was frustrating. I wasn’t frustrated with Harrison, just with the process. We had to reschedule him to do the entire screening over again. I was terrified and dreaded it, but knew it needed to be done. I wanted my boy to keep progressing with his speech and sounds! So we went back to the second screening and thanks heavens, it went a billion times better. He was cooperative, he connected with the new screener. It was awesome. And honestly, its been awesome ever since.

Harrison’s first day of Speech School!

We got little three year-old Harrison into his little Speech Preschool class, and we have been doing that once a week ever since. I owe the SLP’s who’ve worked with him over these years so much thanks and gratitude. I will be eternally grateful for the work they put into Harrison’s speech and success. They are heaven sent humans. These classes have been fun, educational and have got Harrison to the point where he is now. And if you knew Harrison at the beginning of his speech process, then you know just how far he has come. Its amazing.

This Fall Harrison will start Kindergarten (what???) and with that, he will be closing the chapter we have both loved so much, of Speech Preschool. It’ll close the chapter of me being with him while he does speech. Its so bittersweet. Now he will be meeting with a SLP that works in the school he’ll attend who will pull him out of class once a week. He will still be setting goals and tackling them. He’ll still be practicing and learning. But I won’t be there. Thats weird to me. It feels so grown up on his part. How is my boy going into Elementary School!? Sheesh, time flies, but thats a post for another day.

Harrison surely still will be in the speech program for several more years. He’s doing incredible, but still has a ways to go. I love knowing he’s surrounded by a wonderful support system and teachers who are dedicated to helping him do his very best when it comes to something thats been so tricky for him his whole life.

Now, I’m obviously not a SLP or a professional on any of this, but I am Harrison’s mom, and have been very invested in this for most of his life. So I know a thing or two. I’m asked pretty frequently some of the same questions. I answer them occasionally on comments or instagram DM’s, but I’ve chosen to answer my most frequently asked speech-related questions here to make it easier on all of us! If your question isn’t here, message me or comment and I promise I’ll get back to you! This is something I’m passionate about and highly support, so I will most definitely respond.

FAQ About Harrison’s Speech Journey

Do you think Speech is worth it? One trillion percent, yes. Speech has taught us tricks, tips and techniques I never would have come up with in a million years. It has given us the tools to use at home to help Harrison progress. Its held him/me accountable in working with him. Its given Harrison confidence. Its given him classroom experience. Its provided comfort and calm. Its been incredible. I can’t imagine how much more behind Harrison would be if we didn’t choose to put him into speech.

How was he diagnosed with a speech delay? I’d been panicking about him for a while. I took my concerns to our wonderful pediatrician and he gave us the information for an early intervention company nearby us. If you’re concerned about your little ones speech, I’d suggest either asking your pediatrician for a referral, or calling your local school district and asking them what your school system suggests.

Could this just be done at home without intervention? I mean, yes. But in my honest opinion, not as well. There are resources online and so many YouTube videos, etc., but I just know Harrison has learned so much better from SLP’s in person, who really know what they’re doing. Even though parents are awesome and can learn so much, I still 1,000% recommend going to a SLP.

Is Speech Therapy expensive? Not at all. We have been in this about three and a half years. Guess how much we have paid? $0. I love that they’ve truly made this accessible for everyone.

How did you know he was behind in speech? He wasn’t talking as well as kids his age, which at first didn’t concern me. But then I notice he wasn’t talking nearly as well as kids 6+ months younger than him. So then I started to be mindful of it and worry. Trust your gut though!! Testing is free, too! So if you’re worried, I say test. You’d rather know for sure instead of sitting in the scary unknown.

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